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The causes of evolvability and their evolution


Payne, Joshua L; Wagner, Andreas (2019). The causes of evolvability and their evolution. Nature Reviews. Genetics, 20(1):24-38.

Abstract

Evolvability is the ability of a biological system to produce phenotypic variation that is both heritable and adaptive. It has long been the subject of anecdotal observations and theoretical work. In recent years, however, the molecular causes of evolvability have been an increasing focus of experimental work. Here, we review recent experimental progress in areas as different as the evolution of drug resistance in cancer cells and the rewiring of transcriptional regulation circuits in vertebrates. This research reveals the importance of three major themes: multiple genetic and non-genetic mechanisms to generate phenotypic diversity, robustness in genetic systems, and adaptive landscape topography. We also discuss the mounting evidence that evolvability can evolve and the question of whether it evolves adaptively.

Abstract

Evolvability is the ability of a biological system to produce phenotypic variation that is both heritable and adaptive. It has long been the subject of anecdotal observations and theoretical work. In recent years, however, the molecular causes of evolvability have been an increasing focus of experimental work. Here, we review recent experimental progress in areas as different as the evolution of drug resistance in cancer cells and the rewiring of transcriptional regulation circuits in vertebrates. This research reveals the importance of three major themes: multiple genetic and non-genetic mechanisms to generate phenotypic diversity, robustness in genetic systems, and adaptive landscape topography. We also discuss the mounting evidence that evolvability can evolve and the question of whether it evolves adaptively.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics(clinical), Genetics, Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:15 Mar 2019 07:47
Last Modified:01 Nov 2019 01:01
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1471-0056
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-018-0069-z

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